Customer Review

115 of 122 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth Trying, 5 Nov 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fallout 3 (PC) (Video Game)
Ordered the game pre-launch and became a little nervous about being able to install and play it, having read the initial reviews on the web from those in the U.S.A. who had the game earlier.
Seems a number of those with high-end P.C.'s were having all kinds of problems - both in installation, game launch and crashes/game freezing.
It was not without some misgivings then that I installed the game on receipt.

My P.C. is a bit of an old cobbled up belter (cannot afford a better one at present) - 3gb cpu, 1gb ram, Nvid Geforce 6800GS (AGP),a really old Soundblaster card in vanilla stereo and Windows XP. It ran Oblivion beautifully (two years ago) but looked a bit pants as a bottom spec machine for this game. The game publishers stress that the game was designed around the Ge Force 8 and 9 series cards!

If this helps others who are intending to play solo - here are the tips which seemed good logical advice :-

Following advice of others across the pond, I de-fragged the hard drive first, killed my internet connection and stopped the firewall/anti virus engines prior to a full installation.
Then the game installed no bother at all - it is a very long installation though!!

I ran the game from the "launcher" with the disc in the drive for the first time, to let the game sort out my "default" in game settings - which were pretty low (not unexpected).
Exited out and took out the disc. The disc is only used to re-do the defaults now.
No disc, and re-launch from the "Fallout.exe" file in the Fallout directory on the C drive and away we went - no problems at all. No jerko-vision, no lock ups and (so far) no freezing.(Do not use the "Game Launcher").
Assuming you are playing solo - Just ensure you kill your internet connection and virus/firewall systems, remove screen saver and screen power-off time - outs first and launch from the Fallout.exe folder every time you play.
I've played for 5 days now and (so far) no problems.
I re-clocked my NVid 6800 and was able to bring up some of the details in the video settings slowly, bit by bit which has improved the overall look without penalty (so far).
Hope all of that helped somebody.

As to the game itself - many good reviews here.

Meld of Oblivion and the old Fallout series seems a bit odd but works very well.
Levelling up offers more reward as you get a "perk" every time - do choose wisely!
Money and ammo are hard to find at first (expensive with low barter skill) and it pays to "learn your trade" as soon as you can - survival is difficult otherwise.
Take your time and wander around the Megaton area annd surrounding country first - get some easier xp and useful items.

The repair skill is also essential - you will quickly wear out weapons and armour and be stuck without this. You also need to carry similar (partly worn out) items in your inventory as "spares" to repair with. Get them from the bodies after the usual random "raider fire fights".

Worth using the crazy nut-job trader lady in Megaton for her simpler quests and rewards to get more xp and a feel for the characters and mutated wildlife you will always encounter as you travel further out.
Concentrate on upping small gun, lockpick, sneak repair and science skills as soon as you can. You cannot survive without fighting - unlike Oblivion. Lock picking is a much simpler and satisfying experience than in Oblivion. Computer hacking takes some getting used to - a bit of a cerebral break during a mission (read the manual about how to do it)! Perception, intelligence and agility basics are a must.

I have not followed the main plot line at all yet - having too much fun just mooching around and picking up random quests, encounters and good loot.

Remember that all of your actions (good, evil or neutral) have consequences. Karma does play a part. (I appear to have "good" karma at present - too good it seems, as several hit squads are now trying to take me out from time to time - usually quite unexpectedly after completion of random quests - always stay ready to fight!)

Oblivion had "spell making and enchanting" altars - this game has "workbenches" dotted around - including one at the crazy lady's place in Megaton (use them for free). As long as you get the "schematics" you can cobble together the most strange (but effective) weapons from all kinds of junk you can pick up in the wastes during your travels - worth getting somewhere to live as your base to store all of this useful junk for the future.
My favourite home made weapon so far is the "Railway Gun" - a magnetic rail gun shooting railway spikes. It sounds an American locomotive hooter every time it fires - cheezy I know but somehow most enjoyable when a mutated mole rat explodes in front of you. (Dark humour!)
There is an encounter with a lunatic professor underground - voiced to sound like the character Hubert Farnsworth from Futurama!

I have not bothered to use the "Vats" system - more satisfying to do shooting the old down and dirty way.

Spoiler here (maybe?)

Search around for a scrapyard and pick up Dogmeat (remember the dog from Fallout2) for free - a truly awesome fighter/companion for you.

Scoped guns and rifles do work very well (with excellent sounds) if your gun skills are over 60% - sniping is great fun.
Gun graphics are pretty funky too.

Clearly Bethesda will have to address some (or all hopefully) of the launch/run/crash problems - but which great game has not had to have a few early patches?
Nevertheless, there are some in - game inconsistencies with characters and game play which also need sorting out.

Patches must be released a.s.a.p. please.

Loose a star because of this, but otherwise a fabulous game to immerse yourself in for hour after hour - like Oblivion, say goodbye to friends and family for a long time as it draws you in.

Other critics may disagree with some (or all) of this - but these are my experiences to date - and I will admit I am getting on in years - cut my gaming teeth with my children when Wolfenstein first came out as shareware in the early '90s with an Amstrad 286!!

This game is really worth a shot.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Nov 2008 00:14:51 GMT
Mr Shh. says:
A good review, thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Dec 2008 15:44:34 GMT
J. Morris says:
I agree, an extremely well written review. Thanks.

Posted on 30 Dec 2008 01:44:28 GMT
Yep, nice work indeed.

I pressed "yes" btw. ;)

Posted on 18 Feb 2009 19:06:44 GMT
RM says:
That was most helpful, thank you!

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Mar 2009 14:11:12 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Mar 2009 14:12:00 GMT
I just realised I could reply to all of your posts - apologies to all for not saying thankyou earlier for taking the trouble to write.
Having played the game through a couple of times - I wish the ending were better - although there is supposed to be an add-on coming.
I have added a load of mods to the game - there is a mass of stuff to chose from - worth looking at.

Posted on 18 May 2009 16:56:14 BDT
Nick Brett says:
helpful, ta.

Posted on 25 Jul 2009 12:37:41 BDT
JamesTBC says:
The computer spec stuff is useful. But the latter section is more of an early game walkthrough than a review.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Nov 2009 14:05:55 GMT
Last edited by the author on 9 Nov 2009 17:39:27 GMT
NeuroSplicer says:
An excellent review!
Too bad that "Chunky Wilberforce" (or with whatever Profile name he goes by this month) keeps voting your review down to bring his on top.
It happens every time he posts one of his verbose reviews of his own for any major product release.
Since he tries doing this with a number of my reviews as well so I can sympathize!

Keep up the good work!
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